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Who Knew?Responsibility Without Awareness$
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George Sher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195389197

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195389197.001.0001

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The Responsible Self

The Responsible Self

Chapter:
(p.117) Eight The Responsible Self
Source:
Who Knew?
Author(s):

George Sher (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195389197.003.0008

According to the proposal introduced in Chapter 6, what renders an unwitting wrongdoer or foolish agent responsible is the causal connection that obtains between his failure to realize what he should realize and the psychological and physical features that make him the person he is. The proposal therefore presupposes that responsible agents are in fact constituted by constellations of features that are capable of causing the relevant cognitive failures. In this chapter, that presupposition is defended. On the view that emerges, an agent's constitutive features are precisely those whose causal interaction sustains his capacities to reach judgments about reasons and to make conscious choices based on them. The account thus incorporates elements of both attributionism and volitionism while moving essentially beyond them.

Keywords:   responsibility, self, constitution, causality, psychological features, physical features, character, attributionism, volitionism, Thomas Scanlon, Angela Smith, Neil Levy

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